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Can I rewire armored cable wiring?

In my house, built in 1900, most of the wiring has been updated. But the dining room power is supplied via armored cable with cloth wrapped wiring internally. I want to upgrade the wiring to current standards without ripping out the armored cable. Is it feasible to pull the existing wiring inside the armored cable and replace it with individual lengths of 12 AWG?

Re: Can I rewire armored cable wiring?

Not a chance you can do this. Even in 1/2" conduit wire pulls very hard and that has lots of room.

You will have to run new if an upgrade is what you want.

Re: Can I rewire armored cable wiring?

It's worth a try if it's larger that 1/2". I'd use individual conductors made for conduit and wire-pulling. I seem to recall this being type THHN but it's been long, long ago since I dealt with that stuff so ask someone who knows and use wire-pulling soap. And I wouldn't bet on success but if it works you've saved a lot of other work so that may make it worth some effort.


John freeman
Re: Can I rewire armored cable wiring?

Chances are fairly good you won't be able to pull out the old wiring since the old wiring insulation tends to glue itself to the BX metal sheath. If you start trying to pull it out you're likely to ruin the wire and then you are committed to replacing the entire length of cable. If the cable has taken a lot of turns in the original run this, in itself, will make your project impossible.

If you actually can pull out the old wire you will need to pull in a ground or extra wire because the armored cable metal sheath is a dangerous ground. This was not an issue when a ground was not required in building wiring but it is now and a short could start a fire as the sheath fails while high current races through it. It will fling off bits of red hot metal that can start a fire and more than likely will not throw the breaker so that it sits in your walls slinging off shrapnel until the sheath finally burns in half.

I have see this happen. It is very dramatic. You do not want this going on in your house.

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